Premier League • England

Jurgen Klopp dreams of Liverpool transfer for spectacular World Cup star seen as ideal successor to Reds favourite

Neymar Jnr of Brazil and Mohammed Kudus of Ghana during the International Friendly football match between Brazil and Ghana on September 23, 2022 at Oceane Stadium in Le Havre, France

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is reportedly desperate to bring a talented World Cup attacker to Anfield in January after seeming being thoroughly-impressed by his performances in Qatar.

The Reds are preparing for what is likely to be a period of great change over the next two transfer windows. The Liverpool manager is looking to strengthen his midfield with Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both likely to leave as free agents.

James Milner also turns 37 in the new year and there are growing doubts that this may finally be his last season at Anfield. With that in mind, Klopp is looking to bring at least two new midfielders to Anfield.

The No 1 target is undoubtedly Jude Bellingham with Klopp desperate to get his hands on the Borussia Dortmund teenager. That deal is likely to set Liverpool back around £130m, but at 19-year-old, Bellingham would still be seen as a shrewd signing.

In addition, Klopp is also looking at a deal for Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez. To that end, trusted reporter Fabrizio Romano has provided an update on his prospective transfer to Anfield.

There may, however, also be changes made in their attack. And while around £177m has been shelled out in recent years on Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz, there remains lingering doubts over the future of Roberto Firmino.

The Brazilian star – described by Klopp as the ‘heart and soul of Liverpool’ – is in the final year of his deal at Anfield. Indeed, he is one of five players who can leave the Merseysiders as a free agent in 2023.

And while Klopp ideally wants him to stay, plans are under consideration were he to exit on a free.

Liverpool look to Mohamed Kudus

Indeed, talks over an extension to his Anfield contract remain very much on the agenda. However, with the January window opening in just 33 days time, Firmino will be eligible to discuss a pre-contract move overseas from January 1.

To that end, Liverpool are making provisions on the off-chance he departs. And even if he does commit to a new deal, the Reds are ready to push hard to sign a man Klopp sees as an ideal long-term replacement.

And the player reportedly top of his wishlist is Ajax forward Mohammed Kudus. The Ajax attacker has come into his own this season, scoring four times and adding two assists from six Champions League outings.

Pushed into a more advanced central striker’s role, Kudus has become one of Ajax’s top performers. Also capable of playing in central midfield, the 22-year-old has enjoyed a starring role at the World Cup.

Indeed, Klopp reportedly has scouts checking on his progress in Qatar and they can’t have failed to have been impressed by his spectacular double against South Korea on Monday.

Klopp dreaming of deal for Ajax star

Now, according to De Telegraaf, Klopp is ready to ‘fight’ hard for his signature.

Kudus is also of interest to Premier League rivals Everton and Tottenham. Indeed, the Toffees came close to his signing over the summer with the player confirming he was keen to make the move.

But Ajax’s decision to block the move has certainly paid off. His soaring valuation on the back of an excellent season means any suitor is likely to need to pay around £40m for his services.

He has 10 goals and two assists to his name this season. And while an important player for Ajax, they would be vulnerable to his sale were Liverpool to launch a sizeable offer.

He looks ideally suited to Klopp’s system and scored an excellent goal at Anfield during Ajax’s 2-1 defeat there in September.

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